Corporate Responsibility

Our approach is to analyze every project individually to determine its economic, safety and environmental impacts over the life of the project

Seismicity

Oil and gas activities such as hydraulic fracturing and disposal of produced water back into an underground formation via saltwater disposal wells have been associated with seismic events.

seismic array map

Cimarex began monitoring seismic activity in our Mid-Continent operations in 2012 with a set of networked seismometers, commonly referred to as a seismic array. This seismic array encompasses approximately 1.7 million acres and allows us to see events much smaller than can be felt or detected by events which public arrays may not capture. We implemented a standard protocol in 2015 which is triggered by seismic activity with a magnitude of 2.0 or higher. If the seismic activity is associated with our operations we either minimize or halt operations depending on the magnitude and frequency of events. Certain areas where disposed water has been injected into the Arbuckle formation in Oklahoma have experienced increased seismic activity. Neither we nor our third-party vendors dispose of produced water into the Arbuckle formation.

Cimarex continues to maintain transparency with all state and federal authorities. In Oklahoma, we actively communicate with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC), the state government agency that oversees the oil and gas industry in Oklahoma, and we have complied with all of the agency’s data requests. We provide information from our seismic array to the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS) and also work with the OGS and the OCC to establish best practices. We continue to work closely with these groups analyzing seismic events. 

Cimarex began monitoring seismic activity in the Permian region in 2016 using our private seismic array system. In March 2019 this array was integrated into the West Texas array (WTx), a seismic array partnership in the Permian Basin. The partnership, which Cimarex played a formative role in establishing, fosters a spirit of collaboration and problem solving among Permian operators to mitigate the potential seismic impact by the industry. WTx provides participating partners with real-time earthquake locations as well as 24/7 notification services to identify any seismic activity possibly associated with participants' operations. Through this partnership, approximately 5.9 million acres are monitored, covering 100% of Cimarex acreage. While results of our seismic arrays in the Permian region indicate that fewer and less intense seismic events occur as compared to the Mid-Continent region, we have implemented a seismic protocol similar to that which we exercise in the Mid-Continent. We are actively participating in Permian industry group discussions on the topic, as well as sharing information with the Texas Railroad Commission, the state government agency that oversees the oil and gas industry in Texas, and the Texas State Seismologist.

Richter Scale Magnitude Effects
1.0-1.9 Not felt or felt rarely
2.0-2.9 Felt slightly by some people; no damage to buildings
3.0-3.9 Often felt by people but rarely causes damage; shaking of indoor objects can be noticeable